Sony RX100 Mark II Photo Rig

Update 09 June 2014

Never say never!

After saying I would not do more changes to the Photo Rig after my Galapagos Trip I felt I needed to.

So this is the photo rig that I will be taking to the Red Sea for a workshop with Alex Mustard.

Sony RX100 Mark II Rig June 2014 Front
Sony RX100 Mark II Rig June 2014 Front

I got bored with the STIX floats giving away moisture in the luggage and creating issues to other metal parts so decided to completely eliminate the ULCS arms and replace them with Inon float arms size M (they are a tad shorter than the ULCS 8″).

Rig June 2014 Rear
Sony RX100 Mark II Rig June 2014 Rear

So the arms segments are now 1 Inon Mega S segment and 1 Inon Float M segment connected by a clamp for float arms (2″ effective length). This makes for a fairly long arm that extends to 19.5″ each side from the tray.

This rig is 481 negative in fresh water (with one close up lens) and weights 5.7 Kg so should be around 324 grams negative in salt water and with the fisheye off (Inon UWL-100 28AD with dome) will gently go up. The leak sentinel is not on the photo but will be also there. The strobe sleeves  give quite a lift in shallow water but being neoprene will compress at depth.

The Sola 1200 (used as dive and spotting light not as focus light) is now attached through an M10 ball adapter and clamp so that is mounted exactly in the middle of the port.

Sola 1200 on Nauticam M10 ball adapter
Sola 1200 on Nauticam M10 ball adapter

I have also changed the diffusers to the AUTO version to use the Inon external auto function, useful to avoid flat shadows.

Inon -0.5 AUTO diffuser
Inon -0.5 AUTO diffuser

You will notice the metal ring on the exposure meter of the strobe.

As usual I have bayonet mount 28AD version to be specific, I re-used my old UCL-165AD using an adapter. The float arms host two lens holders.

AD lens holder with AD-28AD adapter and UCL-165AD lens
AD lens holder with AD-28AD adapter and UCL-165AD lens

More details on why I chose all those parts on the related post

https://interceptor121.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/my-sony-rx100-mark-ii-photo-rig-analysis/

45 thoughts on “Sony RX100 Mark II Photo Rig”

    1. If you look at the post about fisheye lenses you can see that aquapazza tend to vignette more than nauticam. I am also aware of the fact the locking of the port relies on a screw and not on Allen bolts that would make me nervous. However I have not tested the 28LD port myself so can’t comment on the vignette

  1. Hi,
    just a question for understanding. You write the complete rig is about 481 grams in fresh water and about 324 grams in salt water. How do you calc ulate this and did you ever try the bigger Mega Float Arm M? I’m currently plan to buy a Nauticam + UWH-H10028LD +UCL-165LD+M67+InonZ240+Nauticam-FlexitrayII. I calculated about 1400 grams negative for the complete setup. So I want to add 2xMega Float Arm M (+1300) and one Float Arm S (+75) to balance this. What do you think about this?
    Thanks!
    René

    1. I also have the mega float M however I use the AD lenses so I am probably 170 grams lighter than yours. Also I balance my rig so that if I don’t have the dome is only slightly positive otherwise if you take it off the rig will go up fairly strongly. If I know I will have the dome on the whole dive and not take it off I could use two mega M on their own without any other float or float arm or it goes up. If you know the weight on land and the buoyancy of your rig you subtract those numbers to determine the lift and then approx 3% of this is the additional salt water lift

  2. Hi, I tried to find information about buoyancy of NA housing with RX100II inside, but without success. Maybe you measured it and could share underwater weight value.
    Thanks
    Richard

  3. Hi mate, very nice rig with Sony RX100. I was hoping you can help me. I have a Canon S100 in Canon Housing with Inon bayonet adapter to mount a UWL-H100 wide wet lens. After a year or more I am fed up not being able to get sharp images so I am upgrading to Sony RX100 III.
    However, I shoot almost always wide-angle so I am having trouble deciding which housing (Nauticam, RecSea, Ikelite, Fantasea, Sea&Sea) mostly because I don’t want the same problems I have now with the wide angle never being sharp. From what I can tell, all housings except the Sea&Sea will accept the Inon UWL H100 wide lens but which housing has been proven to have the best results?
    Also, is it possible to convert my UWL-H100 lens from bayonet to thread? I see you have done the other way (thread to bayonet) so was wondering if it is possible the other way. Also, do any of the housings come with bayonet mount for UWL H100 already? I think that thread is better than bayonet because my experience with bayonet with Canon was bad. Of course, maybe there is a better wide angle wet lens such as the FishEye FIX UWL28 and also the iTorch M52 UWL but I have no experience with them. Becoming quite confused. I know I want Sony RX100 III and I know I want wide angle wet lens… but after that I am hoping for some help.
    Sorry for such a long message.
    Regards,
    Chris.

    1. First I would not recommend the RX100 mark III as it does not take a fisheye lens better to go for the Mark II. The best combination for the S series is probably the UWL–04 you can see sime shots in my flickr gallery on the S95. Having said that the UWL-H100 is actually a better lens and with the optional dome there is nothing better on the market. The M67 mount does not bring any improvement to image quality and changing the housing only improves ergonomics. There must be something not quite right with your technique so if you have some galleries post a link and i can tell you whats possibly going wrong

  4. Hi Interceptor,

    Thanks for all the excellent information you provide on your blog.

    I’m looking at purchasing the RX100 M2 and Nauticam housing. At that point my budget starts to thin out, so I’m wondering if you think I could get by with an Inon LF1100W light (with Inon tray and ball adapter) and macro lens until I can afford high quality strobes? If so, would that light also be suitable for assisting with wide angle photography?

    Once I can afford strobes my plan is to move the light to the center of the housing to use as a fill/focus light.

    In terms of additional lenses, I’ll follow the advice in your threads and purchase the UCL-165AD with adapters. Do you happen to know how close that lens will let you get to the subject?

    Thanks again,
    Emily

    1. Hi Emily
      Your configuration can work however I think setting it up like a focus light is much better as without arms segments there is no real benefit putting it on a tray handle. I would skip on the Inon tray as it is awkward and get the shoe base and the single light holder http://www.inon.jp/products/le_light/acc.html#slhlf. For the lens the UCL-165 working range is between 13 and 16.5 cm from the back of the lens itself so 11-14 cm and you can capture a minimum width of 48mm which is not that small and good only for nudibranch and stuff not too small. For the AD mount I already had those lenses if you start from zero I recommend the LD version as the AD vignette a lot until 50-70mm. The Inon LF1000W seems to be good also for video as it has 85-95 degrees coverage that is plenty. With a video light you will need to expose without flash my advice is not to go too small apertures f/5.6 or max f/8 ISO 100 shoot RAW and see what shutter speed you get. You need 1/100 or more. Good luck

      1. Hi Interceptor,

        Does this mean if I do not have any lenses yet, you would recommend going for the UWL H100 28LD and UCL 165LD over your setup of UWL 100 28AD and UCL 165AD?

        Thanks!

  5. Have you tried the 1.10 firmware update for the rx100ii? Apparently it reduces the vibration and noise of the lens during auto-focusing.
    I have had problems while focusing at Macro, not sure it this firmware will help.

    Cheers!
    Jose

  6. I really enjoy your info. I recently replaced my old Canon S90 in Fisheye housing with a Sony RX100 M2 (refurb from Walmart). Given this was a secondary rig, I picked the Ikelite hsg which is now on sale (-$100). I already had an Inon 100 Type 2 and will be testing it out in my pool this weekend. I use Inon D2000 strobes with floats.
    Can you give me any tips re: settings. I am using basic ones for Olympus PEN meaning manual exposure and auto flash (S-TTL).

    1. Check carefully the distance between the Inon glass and the port. Ikelite usually have recessed port and work better with type 1 mount. The Inon D2000 will work well with the RX100 make sure he magnet is off (pre-flash on). You can use TTL and manual modes. The RX100 doesn’t work well underwater in P and A modes as it tends to default to very low shutter speeds. Shoot in manual for best results

  7. So far so good. I need to blow up my images to be sure Type II works. Wouldn’t I be regressing to go back my Type 1 ring?

  8. I confirmed with Reef Photo, that Ike hsg was ok to use with Inon Type II.
    Got some shots on one Blue Heron Bridge trip. Looking at them now.

  9. Thank you for all the wealth of knowledge you are willing to share. I just recently purchased a RX100ii and I am trying to decide which housing to purchase. I obviously see you choose nauticam but I wanted to know your opinion on Recsea (seems like a solid option specially with theDyron Quick Release Kit that permits 52mm and 67mm lenses); the Sea&Sea also has a 67MM thread like the Nauticam so I was wondering if you can use all the same adapters and lenses you recommend (this would probably be my first choice, smaller than nauticam, larger front dial and looks well built). Thank you once again.

    1. I don’t have experience with dyron lenses they have had several issues with coating in the last and nobody imports them in UK anymore. Nauticam ports tend to be designed better and the lens sits closer to the port making it more compatible with lenses. For example I would not attempt the UWL-100 28AD with the recsea. I have not seen the sea and sea housing but I would go and check how close the lens goes to the glass before making any commitment. If the lens is far the image will be softer and may vignette more easily. With nauticam you can even use the older UWL-100 without vignette. Generally I recommend a bayonet system like the Inon AD or LD. If you get any other brand than nauticam buy the LD lenses to avoid risk of vignette

  10. Hey Interceptor! I will be buying the rx100II with the nauticam housing and I’ve read that the UWL-04 fisheye works really well…thoughts? Also what do you think about the Nauticam CMC lens? I noticed you mentioned you use your Sola 1200 as a “spotter” not a focus light, what do you mean by that?

    Thanks!

    1. The UWL-04 is for sure very cost effective. I have one to sell if you want. It is not the best lens for the RX100 the Inon and nauticam are better. As a macro lens I would recommend either the Inon UCL-100 or the subsee 10. The CMC is too strong for general use. I use the focus lights on my strobes generally and the sola are more a solution for night dive or video

  11. Hi Interceptor,
    Interesting reading and I hear you about the threaded wet lenses, as I also dropped my wide one, but lucky dandy bottom :-). Got them as I was in a hurry when I bought the rig, but your info, has me thinking to look again.
    Now for my first question… did you get the Nauticam vacuum pump, my understanding was that it was not compatible with the RX100-II housing..?
    Thanks in advance

  12. Hi interceptor
    I’m looking at upgrading to the rx100. From my 8year old Nikon coolpix in ilelite housing, it was a very nice camera in its day , and did capture very nice colours .i did find the ilelite housing to be very boxy and not easy in the hand.

    My questions are .
    I have the inon uwl100 type 2 with dome port
    And the 3 of the inon ucl 165 m 67 stackable macro lenses .
    A inon z240 and d180 strobe

    I would like to be able to use my old lenses and strobes if possible .
    I’m not really looking to do video . I mainly do macro , super macro , and some wide angle stuff .

    Is there a series of the rx 100 that is better for underwater photography?
    Is there a housing you would recommend to work with my lenses and strobes ??

    Would I just use fibre optic to fire both strobes?
    In the past I used a hot shoe from my camera to the z240

    Or is there another camera set up you suggest ?

    Thanks
    Matty

    1. The UWL-100 type 2 works well with the RX100 II and Nauticam housing. There could be a bit of vignetting but the lens sits so close to the glass it should be minimum. The nauticam housing for the mark II also works with bulkhead but I recommend using fiber optic connections. I think your set up will be a winner with the nauticam housing, other housings will work but the lenses will vignette more so I think you should play safe

  13. Thanks for the quick reply, and good information,

    Any thoughts about the new ish panasonic camera with similar specs ?

  14. Hi, i’m will buy a sony RX100 Soon and I have few questions :
    First, I have a low budget so i dont know if i’m going to buy RX100 or RX100 II, what are the differences and wich one should i buy?

    After, i’m going to go with ikelite housing, i know its not de best but budget is budget 😀

    I have few questions about lenses setup :
    Do i need this ?

    For wide angle:

    – m67 to 28 adaptator ? (can you give me a link to buy it please?)

    – UWL-100 dome ?

    For macro :

    – m67 to 28 adaptator ?

    -UCL 165AD ?

    -Inon 28AD to AD adapator ?

    Tanks and sorry for bad english, i’m French !

      1. Right, I will maybe try to get an nauticam or isotta housing then, what are the differences betwen rx-100 M1 and M2?

  15. Actually looking at Inon Ikelite takes also type 2. Either way I would not recommend it. Between M1 and M2 there are no differences in terms of image quality the key difference is the flash cycle time that on the M2 is much faster and the better video. I prefer the M2 over all models of RX100 for pictures

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